Best Practices in Employment Branding

Best Practices in Employment Branding

By: Susan Walsh, SHRM-SCP

While employment branding may be a reflection of company brand or loosely related to product brand, they are not the same thing.  Employment branding includes messaging about the organization’s purpose, culture, and values.  It helps a candidate answer the question: Can I see myself being successful in this environment?  Is this company a good fit for me?

Because recruiting is a two-way exchange between the hiring organization and the candidate, a well-crafted, intentional employment brand can help potential employees envision themselves at the company.  This is one big step toward engaging the candidate.

Consider the five best practices below to help you develop and execute a strong employment brand.

1. Begin by taking a good hard look at your company culture. 

2. Develop a content strategy that promotes your brand.

  • Use storytelling as a means to convey your message.
  • Focus on company values– specific behaviors that bring those values to life.

3. Identify employment brand ambassadors within the company.

  • Determine the type of employee you want to represent the company.
  • Select several employees who are excited about the company, the team, and/or the job. This should include a good representation of cross-functional, multi-level employees with a variety of experiences and length of service.
  • Develop employee stories that are a reflection of a wide range of experiences at the company.

4. Market your employment brand.  

  • Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Company website / Career pages
  • Recruiting collateral
  • Pre-recorded one-way video interviews

Use social media to engage candidates by providing knowledge and content that is useful and interesting to them.

  • Develop content on career success stories, work from home experiences, team home runs, client feedback on individual and team efforts, products, and company values.

5. Test the success of your employment brand by tracking the right metrics. Focus on a handful of metrics that are accessible and meaningful:

  • Time to Hire
  • New Hire Retention Rate
  • Hiring Manager Satisfaction
  • Turnover Rate

The most difficult to measure and often elusive is Quality of Hire.  This one is challenging because it includes several metrics and needs to be tweaked over time. Beamery provides one example of the Quality of Hire formula, as follows:

Quality of Hire (%) = (Job Performance + Ramp-up Time + Engagement + Cultural Fit)/N

(All should be scored out of 100, N = number of variables used)

This is not intended to be a perfect metric and each organization should think about variables that are relevant.  For example, if you conduct 3-month or 6-month reviews for new hires, you might want to include those in the formula. Another option might be to include team reviews if that is highly valued in your organization.

In summary, the time spent planning and executing an intentional, well-thought employment brand will pay off with improved time to hire, retention rate, manager satisfaction, turnover, and quality of hire.

How can you apply the SHRM Behavioral Competencies to achieve success in Employment Branding?

Leadership and Navigation – Be proactive. Steer the efforts to create an employment brand that is more than a residual effect of your organization/product brand.

Ethical Practice – Determine if your employment brand is really a reflection of your organization’s culture or a reflection of wishful thinking.

Communication – Ensure the message HR communicates through the employment brand is clear, concise, and consistent.

Relationship Management – Connect up with the marketing department to be sure branding across the organization is consistent and complementary.  If you haven’t defined candidate personas, work  with your branding team who are experts at creating customer personas.

Global and Cultural Effectiveness – Incorporate diversity and inclusion initiatives in your employment brand to effectively reach out to candidates of various backgrounds, experiences and cultures.

Business Acumen – Knowing the fundamental purpose of the organization and industry will help you craft an authentic employment brand and ensure consistency in messaging.

Consultation – Provide guidance to internal stakeholders about the importance and impact of a well-designed and executed employment brand.

Critical Evaluation – Be comfortable using solid metrics to measure the effectiveness of the employment brand in recruiting efforts.  This will be valuable in your consultation efforts.


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